Which Dog Has the Best Sense of Smell?

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Dogs, in general, are smart, lovely, loyal, and have an incredible sense of smell. You may notice that some dogs are used widely as a police dog while others are mainly chosen as a domestic dog. But which dog has the best sense of smell? Let’s find out!

The Basics of Dogs’ Nose

Before going straight to the main part, we’d like to give you some helpful information about dog’s nose.

Dogs’ nose is divided into two parts. They have the same purpose that is allowing dogs to smell throughout their lifetime. In humans, when we inhale, we are unable to keep any smell in our mucous, but in dogs, it’s quite different. The dogs exhale through the sides of their nose, not in the same way of humans. When they inhale, the scent of any chemicals will stick in the mucus. Because there are so many minute cilia inside their nose, the scent will then be transmitted to the brain.

Dogs are excellent at smelling. Scientists have proved that they can identify the smell farther than humans about 1,000 to 10,000 times with higher accuracy.

Thanks to their incredible sense of smell, dogs are widely used as an effective supporter for polices. They are trained to identify the presence of illegal drugs, cocaine and explosives. Furthermore, in the medical field, some doctors affirm that dogs can detect cancer tumors and infectious diseases in their owners.

Top 5 Dogs with the Best Sense of Smell

#1. Bloodhound


Photo credit: grekom2 

Bloodhound, which belongs to the scent hounds, is actually a hunting dog. The origin of this breed is believed to be in Belgium. Their name is derived from “blooded hound”, a name comes from the attempt to keep the pure bloodline from generations to generations. Interestingly, Bloodhound is also listed in the roundup of top unique dog breeds.

Due to more than 300 million scent receptors, the Bloodhound is on the top of dogs with the best sense of smell list. They not only track the scent on the ground but also in the air. They have a pair of floppy ears, large nose, open nostrils, shoulders near the nose and loose neck and head skin that helps to retain the scent. All of these have built up a perfect tracking dog breed. Also, they are a persistent dog breed that can work without tiredness and be really reliable.

#2. Basset Hound

Photo credit: Jack 

Basset Hound belongs to the scent hounds. Unlike the Bloodhound which comes from Belgium, the Basset Hound comes from French. Their name is derived from the French word “bas”, which means “low”.

Basset Hounds have likely-similar features with his brother – the Bloodhound, but this breed has short legs (just 11 to 15 inches), heavy in weight (about 45 to 75 pounds) and owns a long back.

Basset Hounds are very good at hunting and tracking due to their special nose. Although the number of scent receptors of their nose is fewer than the Bloodhound, their nose is still one of the best.

#3. German Shepherd

Photo credit: State Farm 

This German breed must be very familiar to all of you. They are used as police dog all over the world. With nearly 225 million scent receptors inside the nose, they are ranked as the 3rd dog breed that has the best sense of smell.

In fact, the German Shepherd is raised mainly by the police departments than normal residents. The strength of this breed is actually their tracking ability, not in the ground but in the air, by the scent that is carried by the wind. They play an important role in airport security, finding victims mission and detecting drugs.

#4. Belgian Malinois

Photo credit: Kristen Bretscher 

With the appearance that looks like the German Shepherd, the Belgian Malinois is also chosen mostly the police. Unlike their brother, this breed is considered lighter, faster and more obedient. Moreover, not only can they be a good police dog, but they are also a good watchdog. They are active and not too aggressive, so they can protect your home from the intruders pretty well.

The main duty of a Belgian Malinois in police units is to detect bombs, explosives and drugs. On the other hand, this breed is used in the medical field when they observe that they can dawn prostate cancer. In case you worry about bed bugs in your bedroom, don’t be panic, they can also help you this.

#5. English Springer Spaniel

Photo credit: Justine Stuttard 

This beautiful English breed is ranked as #5 in the list of best-smell dogs. Unlike those breeds above, the English Springer Spaniel is a combination of a hunting dog breed and a show dog breed. In spite of having a good sense of smell, they are mainly suitable for being a home dog. With an attractive appearance, this dog is beloved by those who want to raise a dog which not only has a nice outlook but also can go on a hunt with them.

In some situations, you will see some policemen use this dog breed as their workmate to identify drugs, fake currency, explosives and human bodies, but these situations are pretty rare.

#6. Others

All of those dogs above are incredible, but some of them are quite aggressive. So, they might be not suitable for you to raise as a home dog. In case you worry about it, we recommend you to pick one of these dog breeds below. They do not only have a strong sense of smell but also friendly, beautiful, lovely and safe for your kids.


Our top 5 is simply incredible, isn’t it? Dogs are not only humans’ close friend but also our effective supporters. With the best sense of smell, they may be very helpful to you in many tasks. But you should be careful because the strong smell may be a dead point of your dogs. Any toxins can kill them faster than other dogs. If you’re in this case, take your dogs to the vets as soon as possible.

So, which dog has the best sense of smell? You already have the answer. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave them below; we will answer them as soon as we can. Thanks for reading!

Comments (1)

  • I have an Australian labradoodle puppy 11 weeks old. He is very energetic and chew everything he can find. How to train him a good habit?


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